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New to Amiga with my loose 1000A model....

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Brand new Amiga owner, my local search for hardware ended yesterday when I found a loose, expensive, 1000A model. Honestly, this being the first Amiga brand anything I have found, after knowing about it for a decade, I don't mind the money too much. It has the RAM expansion. It outputs color composite in stereo, so one of my old 4:3 LCD TVs works well as a monitor. The hardware still looks nice: clean inside with a non-yellowed case. An LED wire for the floppy broke off (looks like metal fatigue, I was not the first inside), but I resoldered it to the stub that's left.

What are my options for a keyboard and or mouse? The keyboard connector appears to be identical to a telephone. Is the mouse custom also, or will any IBM 2 button serial mouse work?

I have a few Sega Master System and Genesis game controllers which the Internet tells me should work as 8-way one button Amiga game controllers. I also have a Sega Master System trackball, but I do not know if that would substitute for an official mouse. I even have a three button Genesis 'Mega Mouse' if that would also work.

I was hoping making the Kickstart and Workbench floppy discs would be easy, but this seems to be a big problem. Research says I need to find someone that has the discs already and is willing to mail me copies.

I am interested in the games and music mostly, with R-Type, Turrican, Shadow of the Beast, and Cannon Fodder at the top of my list. R-type and a few other games seem to be freeware from the original Factor5 studio's website. Having R-type be the first game I play on it would be fantastic (I have spent a lot of time with the SMS, TG-16, and PS ports).

 

Obviously I need a lot of guidance from the community. Time to stock up on floppies? Will this take the regular 1.44MB variety that can be made to work with Amiga's own format?

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Keyboard: If you find an Amiga 2000/3000/4000 keyboard, you could rewire it to the RJ phone jack. There are also adapters to let you use a PC keyboard, but those are designed for the latter Amigas, so rewiring would still be in order plus that not all keys will end up in the intended locations.

 

Here is a discussion on the topic: http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=764

 

You need an Amiga mouse, which plugs into the first DE9 connector, shared with joysticks. If you have a Microsoft "bus mouse" (neither PS/2 nor DE9 serial), it might be possible to modify, but I think you'd be better off getting a proper Amiga mouse, or some 3rd party interface like MicroMys that lets you connect a modern mouse to the Amiga.

 

The Genesis mouse won't work: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=65346

 

When it comes to controllers, the pinout is closer to Atari standard than Sega, but Master System controllers should work. You might want to be careful with the Genesis ones as they are multiplexed causing shorting of unwanted pins on the Amiga. Generally it might not be as bad on the Amiga side as with e.g. a C64 but I would hesitate using a Genesis controller anyway.

 

If you have a custom floppy controller on your PC, something like a Catweasel, Kryoflux, SuperCard Pro etc, you might be able to create Amiga floppy disks but generally you'd need help from another forum member. If you get ahold of an Amiga 600 or 1200, you can use a PCMCIA to CF adapter but even that requires a few files to be transferred on floppy disk first. Fortunately later Amigas came with CrossDOS built into the operating system so they can read PC floppies, which the Amiga 1000 unfortunately can't. In theory you should be able to set up a null modem or something, but since you have no software at all to begin with, my suggestion is that you request ready made disks with Kickstart, Workbench and some MS-DOS reading application, whichever is best fitted for your model.

 

Finally, I would avoid using 1.44 MB disks. You might get them to work, but I found that true DD disks are far better suited. Those are a bit harder to obtain these days, but worth it if you're going to live with floppy disks. When it comes to other tools like memory card solutions, hard drive emulators etc I'm not sure which options there are for the Amiga 1000, but time and bit of searching will tell.

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You might want to take a look at this guide: http://www.thebitplanes.com/archives/63 the first page has some A1000 specific info.

 

Personally, I'd recommend swapping it with somebody for an A500. The 500 is a great starter Amiga.

But the 1000 is super pretty...

Adding to Carlsson's comment on floppies - you don't want to use 1.44HD disks because the Amiga formats disks as DS/DD (unless it's an Amiga 3000/4000 that's got an HD drive in it). HD disks formatted as DD disks always seem to error out sooner or later.

 

If you want KS/WB disks for the 1000, PM me your address and I'll copy some for you.

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Loose a1000 keyboard maybe hard to come by. Like other loose amiga keyboards, they can be pretty expensive. I had a broken a500, so i hacked the keyboard so i could use it on my cd32.

Still regret the day i gave away my a1000. I didn't know i needed a floppy with kickstart to run it. So i gave it away. :(

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Yes, I am reading forum post after forum post, dating back at least five years, that had other Amiga 1000 owners begging for a keyboard for this system. The break-out good news is that FastRobPlus above has very generously agreed to help me out with the Kickstart and Workbench floppies so I can at least see if the floppy still works along with most of the hardware.

 

I am carefully weighing my options of either (a)buying a mouse now or (b)waiting until a 1000A model mouse and keyboard show up together as a bundle. So far the only source I can find is ebay where both together seem to be a minimum of $65 shipped if I find an underpriced BIN. No one told me this would be easy :-) I'll even settle for a keyboard that is yellowed and missing keys right now.

 

I will be glad to post pictures when I get it booting, exciting time getting my first Amiga running!

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The keyboard is the trickiest part. Commodore had a promotion back in 1988 called 1000+1000=2000.

 

The way it worked is you traded in your Amiga 1000 and could get a base A2000 for only $1000. I'm not sure but I think this would have been something like a $1000 discount on the A2000.

 

Commodore didn't actually want the A1000's back. They had you send a check for $1000, your A1000's serial number (I think this was on a warranty page in the 3-ring binder) and your A1000's keyboard!

 

This left a bunch of folks with an unusable A1000 and an brand new A2000.

 

Nearly immediately after this, 3rd party sellers began offering variants of this adapter (same that carlsson menitons) that let you connect the A2000's keyboard to the A1000. For this reason, there are fewer A1000 keyboards out in the wild than there are A1000 computers.

 

Unfortunately, as a collector, this is a poor situation since one of the coolest retro features of the A1000 is its ability to park the keyboard underneath the main unit when not in use. It's actually one of the defining characteristics of the Amiga's Industrial Design and came as a shock to Amiga Inc. when Commodore axed it.

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a1000_zpsxdgfrhst.jpg

 

It works! The floppy works, the computer works! As you can see FastRobPlus's diskettes came in today and they work well, proving also that the computer appears to be functional!

My next step is to get a keyboard and mouse and perhaps I can even track down a joystick and the freeware copy of R-type on disk. Yay!

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That's great!

If you like R-Type, you owe it to yourself to check out Blood Money and Battle Squadron. Both are Amiga-specific so take better advantage of the gfx and sound.

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Once I get a mouse and keyboard, would a floppy emulator solve all of my software problems?

Here is a page I am looking at specifically: https://cortexamigafloppydrive.wordpress.com/

If I am understanding this correctly I could load (1) the Kickstart image as one file, (2) the Workbench as the next and then (3) any game demo from that point onwards? A workable plan? I saw these on a few youtube videos and they seem to work okay...perhaps the perfect solution?

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Most games only need kickstart. They autoboot once kickstart has loaded in memory.

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Ah, I think I see what you are saying. If nothing else, I could load the kickstart disk and "hot swap" the cable over to this device? Part of me would worry about blowing something out that way, since the Amiga seems to be always reading the diskette drive. I left a post in the comments asking for help or vendors that would be willing to make the required additional modification to the Amiga version of the Gotek USB replacement floppy drive for the 1000 units. I can't be the only one in the USA needing one of these...I am willing to go worldwide got get it done, sure!

 

I am also interested in the search terms or the device name that enabled the additional 512K RAM upgrade using the side mounted slot on the 1000. That would make my 'classic' machine pretty much as good as it would need to load a lot of software and demos from what I have read.

 

Still nothing on a 1000 mouse and keyboard, but I keep at it on auction sites.

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Electrically I thought all Amiga drives were the same, so a Gotek device that is set to work on a 500 would replace the drive in a 1000 in the same fashion, and if you mount the Kickstart disk image it would load, but I haven't tried this myself so there might be a caveat I'm overlooking.

 

No idea about the RAM upgrade, if that one doesn't register automatically.

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No no, not hotswapping the devices. Just make image 1 on the usb drive the kickstart image, from there on you can then select the game you want to play, using the select buttons on the gotek.

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No no, not hotswapping the devices. Just make image 1 on the usb drive the kickstart image, from there on you can then select the game you want to play, using the select buttons on the gotek.

From the author's post, he had to use his Amiga 600 model to make the first image (000?) on the Gotek the kickstart image. Is there anyone in the USA (vendor or otherwise) that can make this simple change for the Amiga 1000? Or, do I not quite understand how the Gotek works?

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Perhaps there are PC tools that will let you change individual slots on the USB stick used with the Gotek? I suppose WinUAE is out of the picture as the device probably contains custom firmware which is used to access the USB stick, firmware possibly not available in emulation.

 

The Kickstart switch looks cool. Does anyone sell it ready modified, or is it a DIY project entirely? I didn't find any indication about where it would be available in assembled or at least kit form.

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This $22.00 item will allow you to use a USB mouse on your Amiga:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/231881838496?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

As for the Genesis controllers, you can avoid the shock problem by opening it and taking the little metal discs out from under the Start, A, and C buttons. The Amiga only uses the d-pad and the B button.

 

 

Note: Avoid plugging or unplugging anything into the serial or parallel ports while the Amiga is on. Unlike the PC, the Amiga's CIA chips are sensitive to that sort of thing and you can easily zap them.

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As for the Genesis controllers, you can avoid the shock problem by opening it and taking the little metal discs out from under the Start, A, and C buttons. The Amiga only uses the d-pad and the B button.

 

 

Note: Avoid plugging or unplugging anything into the serial or parallel ports while the Amiga is on. Unlike the PC, the Amiga's CIA chips are sensitive to that sort of thing and you can easily zap them.

 

Thanks for the tips! I think I will spring for an Amiga brand mouse since I have read any of them will work, and some have averaged out to less than the mouse adapter. I am still searching for a 1000 keyboard and mouse and regret not bidding on a combo auction last month when I first got the Amiga. Oh well, I will be more prepared next time!

 

I may also spring for a real Amiga joystick assuming I can find one; in the meantime my other option is a two Button Sega Master System joystick.

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